Actress Taylor Momsen is best known to audiences as Gossip Girl’s rebellious Jenny Humphrey. But the 16-year-old is hoping that soon people will also see her as a rock star. Momsen and her band, the Pretty Reckless, are set to drop their debut album this summer and have recently released their first single, “Make Me Wanna Die,” which is on the Kick-Ass soundtrack. EW chatted with Momsen about this new career path.
EW: Your band, the Pretty Reckless, has a song (“Make Me Wanna Die”) on the Kick-Ass soundtrack.
Taylor Momsen: It’s a tragic love song. It’s Romeo and Juliet—can’t live without your lover so you die. It’s the Pretty Reckless’ first single. We just shot a video for it, but I don’t wanna say too much. It fits the song. It’s very dark.
EW: How’s the album progressing?
TM: It’s coming out this summer. We wrote it as a record, so every song is part of a bigger thing. I don’t know—I just want people to hear it!
EW: Who would you say is your biggest musical inspiration?
TM: The Beatles did everything first, and they did it the best.
EW: You’re often compared to Courtney Love.
TM: I don’t wanna be Courtney Love—I wanna be Kurt Cobain.
He’s brilliant and his songs are genius. The Hole records are great. Everyone always compares me to Courtney Love because they think we like dress the same and we both have blond hair, wear lipstick and dresses. But I’m sorry, don’t a lot of girls dress like that? I look at Nirvana. I don’t look at Hole.
EW: How do you imagine juggling music and acting?
TM: I’ve been acting since I was 2. I don’t dislike it by any means, but it’s a job to me. It can never be as personal as music, because you’re playing a character and saying someone else’s words. Music is who I am.
EW: Your GG costar Leighton Meester is also trying to launch a music career. Ever talk about it?
TM: No. I’m not really close with my cast. We’re all cordial and nice to each other, but we’re not really friends outside of the set. And we’re doing a different thing: She’s putting out a pop record, which is awesome.
EW: I heard Jenny is going to be MIA for the beginning of next season.
TM: I’m gonna be on tour. But as far as next season goes I don’t really know what’s going on. I don’t wanna talk about that because it’s up in the air. At the end of the season, you’ll see.
EW: I saw you perform in New York City last year, and you seemed to have forgotten to put on pants. What was up with that?
TM: I don’t really like pants, man. I like tights. I’m not really a pants person.
EW: You’re a rocker now—you can choose not to wear pants.
TM: And I do! I choose not to wear pants.
(Follow the Music Mix on Twitter @EWMusicMix.)
More from EW.com’s Music Mix:
Britney Spears (or at least her manager) wants an all-Brit episode of ‘Glee.’ Do you?
B.o.B is No.1 on Billboard’s Hot 100, Usher and Ke$ha chase behind
The Roots enlist Joanna Newsom, John Legend, Jim James for new album
Johnny Depp directs an arty video for Babybird: Watch here